The Effect of Blade Alignment on Kinematics and Plantar Pressure during the Execution of Goaltender-Specific Movement Patterns: A Case Study.
Journal titleSports (Basel, Switzerland)
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AbstractInnovations in material properties of goaltender skates have improved the protective characteristics of the boot, leading to redesign of the blade holder to resemble players' holders. The redesigned blade holder introduces the ability to customize blade alignment, which may grant a performance advantage. We investigated the effect of blade alignment on kinematics and plantar pressure during the execution of two different goaltender-specific movement patterns: (1) the butterfly drop to recovery and (2) the lateral butterfly slide to recovery. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of three blade alignment conditions. The secondary objective was to compare two neutral alignment conditions, which was facilitated by studying the effects of two different holders on kinematics and plantar pressure during two goaltender-specific techniques. A male goaltender with professional experience completed an A-B-A design, executing five trials of A, B, and A for both movements with each blade alignment condition (n = 30 per collection, n = 90 overall) on synthetic ice in a controlled lab environment. Blade alignment conditions were defined by the alignment of the blade holder on the boot and the type of blade holder. Kinematic and plantar pressure data were collected simultaneously using 3D motion capture and in-skate pressure insoles, respectively. Increased butterfly drop velocity (2.07 ± 0.09 m/s) and peak plantar pressure (77.19 ± 2.67 psi) were revealed when executing the butterfly drop with medial alignment. This work suggests medial blade alignment may enable the goaltender to drop into the butterfly position faster, potentially increasing the likelihood of making a save.
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